DON’T BE SILLY, MRS. MILLIE!

In a classroom setting, the harmless fun begins with the kindergartner’s teacher teasing her class by telling them to hang up their “goats,” do the “frog salute,” and get out their paper and “penguins.” The children in Mrs. Millie’s kindergarten class, after the initial surprise, reply in unison with the refrain, “Don’t be silly, Mrs. Millie! You mean . . . ” Full of giggles and guffaws, the children delight in the mental picture of the literal image in colored pencil, ink, and color wash which is equally as bright and absurd as the textual tease, but visually and verbally, Cox and Mathieu don’t go beyond average. The verbal errors, though they provide an opportunity for the children to correct them, are a simple fun game for a limited age range, whether it’s poodles or puddles, weasels or easels, quackers or crackers. Mrs. Millie’s sillies will elicit snickers and participation, once through, but no more than that. (Picture book. 4-5)

Pub Date: April 11, 2005

ISBN: 0-7614-5166-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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THE LAST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Loewen’s story is a simple snapshot of kindergarten graduation day, and it stays true to form, with Yoshikawa’s artwork resembling photos that might be placed in an album—and the illustrations cheer, a mixed media of saturated color, remarkable depth and joyful expression. The author comfortably captures the hesitations of making the jump from kindergarten to first grade without making a fuss about it, and she makes the prospect something worth the effort. Trepidation aside, this is a reminder of how much fun kindergarten was: your own cubbyhole, the Halloween parade, losing a tooth, “the last time we’ll ever sit criss-cross applesauce together.” But there is also the fledgling’s pleasure at shucking off the past—swabbing the desks, tossing out the stubbiest crayons, taking the pictures off the wall—and surging into the future. Then there is graduation itself: donning the mortarboards, trooping into the auditorium—“Mr. Meyer starts playing a serious song on the piano. It makes me want to cry. It makes me want to march”—which will likely have a few adult readers feeling the same. (Picture book. 4-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5807-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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Very young children deserve a better reason to get excited about our world than this bit of promotional fluff.

LATELY LILY

THE ADVENTURES OF A TRAVELLING GIRL

From the Lately Lily series

Lily, a cute freckled redhead with enormous eyes, flits through a number of unnamed countries with her stuffed zebra, Zeborah.

Ostensibly created to inculcate wanderlust in very young children, this character seems to be little more than an advertisement for the author/artist’s clothing company for little girls, called Lately Lily. Talk about cross-platform! Lily’s parents travel a lot for their jobs, and the lucky young lady gets to accompany them. Although the usual images (the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, a red London double-decker bus) show up in the retro illustrations, there is very little text that provides any information—or storytelling, for that matter. In her favor, Lily is seen writing in her journal and sending letters to the friends that she meets along the way. Knowledgeable parents or other adults could use the pictures as a jumping-off point, but why bother introducing young readers to pictures of stereotypically dressed children and familiar monuments when there is no real content? Yes, it’s fun to visit other countries but not in the vacuous manner of Lily’s visits.

Very young children deserve a better reason to get excited about our world than this bit of promotional fluff. (Picture book. 4-5)

Pub Date: May 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4521-1525-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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